Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), and Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament (EP), signed on 5 December a joint declaration in view of the European elections that will be held in May 2019.
During the signature ceremony of the declaration, Luca Jahier, President of the EESC, stated: "Understanding and embracing change will allow Europe to move forward and shape the global order for the 21st century. There is no other alternative than being together. There is no way back. I am very happy to work together with President Tajani to reassert the moral foundations of our model of democracy. ThisTimeImVoting yes, but for us at the EESC it's also ThisTimeImActing".
Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament, underlined: " The European Parliament is committed to responding to the needs and priorities of citizens - especially on jobs, growth, security, migration and climate change. We all have a stake in these elections and we have a duty to inform. The EESC can play a key role in engaging social partners and wider civil society in this election campaign that will determine the future of Europe".
The joint declaration signed by President Jahier and President Tajani points out "the need to anticipate, act and react with proper facts to annihilate fake news and make sure the positive and true stories are not overshadowed by negative, opportunistic propaganda". With this aim, the EESC and the European Parliament will undertake a number of activities in order to raise awareness of civil society organisations and the general public about the upcoming European elections and to encourage participation.
General communication: 3 major awareness campaigns will be run through to encourage EESC members to play an active role in the European elections' campaign. They will also be asked to act as ambassadors towards their respective organisations and will receive specific training for Going Local actions in the context of the elections. A special attention will be paid on how to communicate on social media, with specific guidelines on the use of hashtags, target groups, etc. and an internal training event for EESC members and staff.
Events and conferences: all major activities organised by the EESC or taking place in its premises will include awareness raising on the elections, in particular the EESC Citizens' Convention that will be organised in Brussels in early 2019. EESC members will also be encouraged to organise Going Local activities linked to the elections with the help of the EP information offices and to interact with lead candidates (Spietzenkandidaten) whenever possible. The "Europe Day" on 4 May 2019 will also focus on the European election, with specific activities.
Youth: the 2019 edition of Your Europe, Your Say (YEYS), which marks the tenth anniversary of the programme, will be focused on youth participation in the European elections. Participants and first-time voters will be targeted in liaison with the EP in order to create a young community linked to the EU elections, and President Jahier and President Tajani will open the YEYS event that will take place in March at the EESC.
Press work: the EESC and the Parliament will cooperate on national and local distribution channels and seek coverage and promotion of selected Going Local actions. A number of articles and op-eds on the elections will be sent out to selected media outlets and a seminar for journalists will take place at the end of 2018 with a focus on civil society in an election year.
European Parliament election will be held in 23–26 May 2019 and European citizens will have the chance to decide about the future of the European Union.